Member Spotlight - Kristen Benton
Kristen has been a member from the very beginning! She was one of our first members when The Combine opened in 2011. After beating cancer 13 years ago, Kristen made eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle a priority. A self-proclaimed "workout junkie," Kristen struggled with injuries and food intolerances before finding CrossFit and clean eating. Kristen, her husband, and her 4 children are all CSC Crossfitters!
How did you hear about the C.S.C Crossfit/The Combine?
I was aware that Robert was opening a Crossfit in our area and couldn't wait to get started!!
Why did you start CrossFit?
I am a workout junkie, but was having trouble meeting and maintaining my desired goals for myself physically. I was constantly getting injured and, despite eating what I thought was healthy and going to the gym daily, I had NO energy and definitely did not look like someone who worked out as much as I did. I have several friends that jumped into Crossfit before me and I was AMAZED by their results. I felt that the constant change in workouts and the fact that there is always something new would be a great fit for me. I knew that I would love it and I DO!
What has CrossFit at The Combine done for you personally, emotionally, health wise, physically......?
I am a wife of 20 years, have four children, and am a 13 year cancer survivor. Since beating cancer, I have been a healthy eater and always made exercise a part of my life. However, I was having a lot of issues related to energy, endurance, sleep, etc. I had been diagnosed with numerous food intolerance, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and IBS. I was a mess and didn't know where to turn. Under the direction of a nutrition coach from another Crossfit gym (before the Combine had opened), I started eating a Paleo diet about a year before starting Crossfit and saw huge changes in my overall well-being. My allergies disappeared, I was finally able to determine which foods I can and cannot digest, I was sleeping soundly and waking up rested for the first time in over 10 years, most of my nagging, recurrent injuries went away, and my energy level soared! The only thing I had left to achieve was a stronger, more muscular body. I was feeling great on the inside and wanted to have the outside to match! Crossfit has brought me to a place of being more confident in who I am and what I can accomplish. I am proud of being over 40, but I don't feel my age at all. At the age of 42, I am stronger than ever and have an overall feeling of incredible confidence. Every WOD at Crossfit helps me to step out and accomplish something that I really never thought I could...it's a great feeling that sticks with you day in and day out! I know that I am a better wife, mom, and friend because of the confidence I've gained through Crossfit!
What do you like most about CrossFit?
That ANYONE can do it...young or old, fit or not, injured or healthy. There are no excuses with Crossfit. Our family has made Crossfit a family activity. My husband joined as a workout to balance his cycling. Our two teenage boys, ages 16 and 14, joined to supplement their respective sports. And now, our two girls, ages 11 and 5, attend the Kids Crossfit. Our kids see mom and dad going to Crossfit, getting stronger, and loving it and they want to be a part of it too. What a great and positive habit to instill in our kids. We have a great time as a Combine CSC Family!
What do you like most about The Combine?
The fellowship with other athletes. All of the classes have a combination of athletes ranging from beginners to competitors and everything in between. There is a healthy competition between athletes; but in reality, the competition is really against yourself. I receive constant encouragement from the other athletes as we all work towards our own personal bests! Other athletes take the time to notice when you are struggling with an element and offer YELLS of encouragement that push you to do more! If athletes finish the WOD before others, they walk over and encourage those that haven't finished. Many days, I show up as much to see my "friends" at the gym and the WOD is just the bonus! I also love that the Combine coaches, while constantly challenging you and encouraging you to reach for the RX and max reps, also recognize that each athlete needs to work within and know their own limitations. They help me focus on correct form as my number one goal instead of pushing for an RX without good form.
What goals have you set and reached since you started at The Combine?
To get my body fat percent under 20% and to get stronger overall! I joined the Combine in August of 2011 and have gone from 28% body fat to under 20%. I regularly reach PR's in the Oly lifts and daily challenge myself to push harder, but within my own limitations. My biggest goal is to daily speak confidently about myself and those around me, be proud of my accomplishments no matter how big or how small, and to be able to do this for a long, long time!
What are your 3 favorite exercises?
The Curtis P, the Deadlift, and I've learned to love the challenge of a well formed snatch!! Now, to quit being so scared of a little HSPU...